GUNNER JAMES MASTERS
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
2ND JULY 1918 AGE 25
BURIED: ST HILAIRE CEMETERY EXTENSION, FREVENT, FRANCE
James Masters had been a serving soldier for six years when he died of wounds in 1918. He'd joined the Royal Artillery in October 1912 and served with the 13th Brigade in India from November 1913 until it was recalled on the outbreak of war. Leaving India on 21 September 1914 the brigade was in France on the 21 October.
Wounded in the shoulder in October 1917, Masters was hospitalized in England, returning to the front in April 1918. On 2 July he was wounded in the chest, the form says 'GSW wounds', meaning gun shot wounds' but shrapnel wounds were described with the same initials. He died the same day.
Before the war, Masters had been a carter on a farm in Ripe, Sussex where his father was a cowman, It was his father who chose his inscription as his mother had died when he was a boy. It's a very emphatic statement with which it would be hard to disagree. And yet I feel that the dead would want more than our undying gratitude, and more than to be never forgotten, they would like to think that individuals did everything they could to try to avoid such a murderous situation arising again.